The month for polar opposites: midnight sun illuminates the far north, but it’s chilly in the far south
Skiing in the Andes anyone? The approaching winter in southern Africa (Namibia, South Africa) and Latin America (Peru, Bolivia) makes for comfier sightseeing and treks; in Oz, Queensland's hot and dry, the Red Centre warm by day, cold at night. Much of the Caribbean enters hurricane season (Jun-Nov), while 'winter' in the South Pacific is dry, balmy and beautiful.
During midsummer, the sun doesn't set on the gurgling isle of Iceland. Floating just below the Arctic Circle, it is effectively light for 24 hours a day from early June to July - which means milder climes (15°C) and more time for exploring.
Start in modern capital Reykjavík (home to a funky bar scene, especially raucous on Friday nights) and don't miss a dip in the nearby Blue Lagoon - its steaming, mineral-rich waters are the ideal natural pamper.
Then head out on the Golden Circle: a highlights-packed circuit linking spouting geysers, crashing waterfalls and black-sand beaches. Watch the spewing of the original geyser at Geyser, see rainbows tinge the cascade at Gullfoss and hike around active Hekla volcano. Also, don't miss the chance of a whale-watching boat trip around the west coast, where you can spot humpback, fin, sei and blue whales - one of the greatest cetacean gatherings in the world.
This African nation's cool, dry season (Jun-Sep) is the perfect pick: Kilimanjaro is less wet, though still a challenging climb (note, June is less crowded than Jul-Aug); the beaches of Zanzibar are sublime; and two million wildebeest make dramatic river crossings in the northern Serengeti.
While much of the Caribbean's susceptible to storms right now,
the southern Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) sit
outside the hurricane belt. Temperatures reach a sweltering
so cool off on Bonaire, with its great diving, or charter a boat.
Swaying palms, turquoise seas, swinging hammocks: this is true honeymoon hedonism. In June it's sunny and dry, but pre high-season so quieter and cheaper. Tahiti is the most famous isle, but not necessarily most beautiful; try breathtaking Bora Bora and Maupiti too.
There's no better time to make the iconic four-day hike to Machu Picchu (though this permit-holders-only trek must be booked well in advance). The weather is ideal, plus it's festival time: winter solstice is marked by Inti Raymi (the Festival of the Sun) near Cusco.
It may be Oz winter but that scarcely affects Queensland, which gets nearly 300 days of sunshine a year. The state's now at its driest, and still warm (around 25°C), plus the Great Barrier Reef is ideal, with calm waters and high visibility; minke whales visit the northern reefs June-August - a very special encounter.
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